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Nonprofit Management

Foundations and Public Policy

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U.S. foundations can leverage their funds, knowledge, and connections to address problems through involvement with public policy issues. Edited by James M. Ferris, director of the Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy at USC, the book presents a valuable framework for foundations to consider as they plan or implement their engagement with public policy.

A number of case studies explore the role of foundations and their associations in shaping policies related to health care insurance, child care, education and habitat protection. Foundations and Public Policy addresses three fundamental issues:


  • Factors that are critical to a foundation's decision to engage in public policy work
  • Strategic and tactical options available to organizations that become involved
  • Implications for a foundation that chooses to use its assets to influence public policy

  • This illuminating study is an invaluable resource for foundation professionals, legislators, and public policymakers as well as donors, board members, advisors, researchers, and philanthropy consultants.


    Editor, Dr. James M. Ferris, was assisted by a team of consultants, academics, and specialists in legal counsel to foundations, through papers commissioned for The Center on Philanthropy & Public Policy, of which he is founding director. Dr. Ferris is also a professor in the School of Policy, Planning and Development, and holds the Emery Evans Olson Chair in Nonprofit Entrepreneurship and Public Policy.


    March 2009
    296 pages

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